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A liver transplant is a surgical procedure that removes a liver that no longer functions properly (liver failure) and replaces it with a healthy liver from a deceased donor or a portion of a healthy liver from a living donor.
Your liver is your largest internal organ and performs several critical functions, including: Processing nutrients, medications and hormones Producing bile, which helps the body absorb fats, cholesterol and fat-soluble vitamins Making proteins that help the blood clot Removing bacteria and toxins from the blood Preventing infection and regulating immune responses.
Liver transplant is usually reserved as a treatment option for people who have significant complications due to end-stage chronic liver disease. Liver transplant may also be a treatment option in rare cases of sudden failure of a previously healthy liver.
Where can I find Liver Transplant abroad?
Liver Transplant in India, Liver Transplant in Germany, Liver Transplant clinics and hospitals in Turkey, Liver Transplant at clinics and hospitals in Thailand, For more information, read our Liver Transplant Cost Guide .,
Liver failure causes many problems, including malnutrition, problems with Ascites, Blood Clotting, Bleeding from the Gastrointestinal Tract and Jaundice. In most cases, patients who undergo Liver Transplant are very sick. They are hospitalised prior to surgery.
A healthy Liver is obtained either from a living donor or from a donor who has recently died (brain dead), but has not suffered Liver injury. The diseased Liver is removed through an incision made in the upper abdomen and the new Liver is put in place and attached to the patient's blood vessels and bile ducts. This procedure can take upto 12 hours to complete and may require large volumes of blood transfusions.
Patients are required to stay in the hospital for 3 to 4 weeks after the Liver Transplant, depending on the degree of illness. After the transplant, patients must take immunosuppressive medicines for the rest of their lives to prevent rejection of the transplanted organ by the body
Liver Transplant may be necessary for patients who suffer from: • Liver damage due to Alcoholism • Long-term (chronic) active infection (Hepatitis B or C) • Primary Biliary Cirrhosis • Chronic Liver disease due to HCC • Birth defects of the Liver or Bile Ducts (Biliary Atresia) • Metabolic disorders associated with Liver failure (e.g. Wilson's disease, Haemochromatosis) • Acute Liver Failure
A Liver is obtained from either a deceased or a living donor. Deceased Donor A Liver can be obtained from patients who are brain dead (declared dead clinically, legally, ethically and spiritually). Once a brain dead patient is identified and deemed as a potential donor, the blood supply to his body is maintained artificially. This is the principle of deceased organ donation. Young patients who die due to accidents, brain haemorrhage or other causes of sudden death are considered suitable donor candidates Living Donor The Liver has an amazing ability to regenerate itself if a part of it is removed. It takes the Liver 4 to 8 weeks to regenerate after the surgery. That’s why a healthy person can donate a part of his Liver. In a Live Donor Liver Transplant, a portion of the Liver is surgically removed from the live donor and transplanted into a recipient, immediately after the recipient’s Liver has been entirely removed.
Doctors, transplant coordinators and other healthcare professionals who form the Liver Transplant team, with their experience, skill and technical expertise select the best donor for a living Donor Liver Transplant. Potential live Liver donors are carefully evaluated and only those in good health are considered. The donor will be evaluated or cleared for donation by the Authorisation Committee. The health and safety of the donor is the most important parameter during the evaluation. The potential donor should: • Be a close or first degree relative or spouse • Have a compatible blood type • Be in overall good health and physical condition • Be older than 18 years of age and younger than 55 years of age • Have a near normal body mass index (not obese) The donor must be free from: • History of Hepatitis B or C • HIV infection • Alcoholism or frequent heavy alcohol consumption • Any drug addiction • Psychiatric illness currently under treatment • A recent history of cancer The donor should also have the same or compatible blood group
• Donate an organ can save the life of a transplant candidate • Donors have reportedly experienced positive emotions, including feeling good about giving life to a dying person • Transplants can greatly improve recipient’s health and quality of life, allowing them to return to a normal life • Transplant candidates generally have better results when they receive organs from living donors as compared to organs from deceased donors • Better genetic matches between living donor and recipients may decrease risk of organ rejection • A living donor makes it possible to schedule the transplant at a time that is convenient for both the donor and the transplant candidate
The surgery and recovery process vary in different cases. If you are thinking of becoming a donor then you should consult the hospital transplant team to understand what to expect. You can also consider talking with other donors. As a Liver donor, you may stay in the hospital for upto 10 days or longer in some cases. The Liver typically regenerates in two months. Most Liver donors return to work and resume normal activities in about three months, although some may need more time.
biggest risks associated with Liver Transplants are rejection and infection. Rejection occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the new Liver as an unwanted intruder, just as it would attack a virus. To prevent rejection, transplant patients must take drugs to suppress the immune system. However, because the immune system is weakened, it is harder for transplant patients to fight other infections. Fortunately, most infections can be treated with medicines.
• Anti rejection drugs (Immunosuppressant Drugs) • For the first three months after the transplant you need to take the following medicines: o Antibiotics - to reduce the risk of infections o Antifungal liquid - to reduce the risk of fungal infections o Antacid - to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers and heartburns o Any other medicines that you have to take will be prescribed depending on your symptoms
Advances in surgery have made Liver Transplants extremely successful. Recipients have been known to live 30 years of normal life after the operation. The five-year survival rate for Liver Transplant patients is approx. 85-90%.
It is essential that everyone involved in the transplant procedure coordinate seamlessly to monitor the health of the patient, even after the operation. For the patient it is important to follow instructions given by their physicians and consultants, as these will help prevent or reduce the chances of any complications. A patient's most important job is to ensure that the family physician, local pharmacist and their family members are aware of the transplant. The medications must be taken as prescribed and precautions must be observed. Every family member must have the telephone number of the patient’s Liver Transplant Consultant.